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Nutrition and lactation support on NICU

Juliet Cooper Juliet Cooper, Infant Feeding Advisor

Toni-Anne Lowe Toni-Anne Lowe, Infant Feeding Advisor

Our Infant Feeding Team is based on the neonatal unit and aims to support parents in all aspects of feeding during their baby's stay. Led by Infant Feeding Advisors, our team are on hand to provide information and support.

Expressing Milk -  Breast milk is highly beneficial to preterm and poorly babies. We aim to support mothers in providing breast milk for their baby by showing them how to hand express in the first few days to gain colostrum (mother's first milk). It is quite common for a mother's milk supply to change during their baby's time in hospital and our team can give tips and advice to help.

Breastfeeding - If a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby the team are on hand to offer advice to enable mothers to go home feeling confident feeding their baby.

Baby Friendly Initiative - We are a level 3 accredited unit by Unicef and the Infant Feeding Team help to continue this effort by implementing guidelines and policies to ensure the service and care we give is best practice. All nursing staff are thoroughly trained to support families and improve their experience. Saint Mary's Hospital has achieved Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) Full Accreditation.  This demonstrates the good practices and hard work we provide within NICU in support of breast feeding.  The Trust is recognised by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) as providing best practice standards in support of breast feeding to our women, babies and their families.  We are also endorsed by NICE, the Department of Health and Bliss.

We have recently launched the Small Wonders project, which focuses on Family Centred Care.  You can take a look at this on the website www.bestbeginnings.org.uk.

We want to help you to be as much a part of your baby's care as you would like, right from the first few days when you can express milk and learn special ways to hold your baby (skin to skin contact and containment holding) to feeding, bathing and taking care of your baby's everyday needs as they get nearer to discharge.